Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is a celebration of comics and graphic novels and their creators. Although a week-long festival, it culminates in a two-day exhibition and vendor fair featuring hundreds of comics creators from around the world. TCAF takes place this weekend, Saturday May 9, 9am-5pm, and Sunday May 10, 11am-5pm, at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. Attendance is FREE to the public.
As with other festivals in the city, I have prepared a list of festival highlights of who to see, what to check out, where and when this weekend.
Tamaki is the artist behind the New York Times Best Illustrated Book, SKIM, which was also nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award and Eisner Award and won a Doug Wright Award and Ignatz Award. She is attending TCAF in support of her new collection Super Mutant Magic Academy, debuting at TCAF 2015 from Drawn & Quarterly.
Chip Zdarsky is the pseudonym of Canadian comic book artist, journalist, illustrator and designer Steve Murray. His comics’ fan base knows him as Chip Zdarsky. He’s used the Zdarsky pseudonym to create Prison Funnies and Monster Cops, and as artist and co-creator of the Eisner Award Winning Sex Criminals with writer Matt Fraction. In January 2015, Image Comics announced a new series written by Zdarsky and illustrated by Kagan McLeod entitled Kaptara.
McCloud is an American cartoonist and comics theorist. He is best known for his non-fiction books about comics, Understanding Comics (1993), Reinventing Comics (2000), and Making Comics (2006). Understanding Comics, McCloud’s seminal work, was published in 1993 and was translated into 16 languages, and in 2007, Making Comics won the Quill Award for Graphic Novels. He is attending TCAF in support of his new graphic novel The Sculptor, from First Second Books.
Bagieu is a French cartoonist and illustrator, known the world-over for her blog Ma vie est tout à fait fascinante (My life is quite fascinating), where she shares moments of her everyday life. In 2010, Bagieu published Cadavre Exquis (Exquisite Corpse, in English), which earned her multiple prizes at the 2011 Angoulême Festival, including Best Humour Album. Pénélope Bagieu is attending TCAF 2015 in support of the English debut of Exquisite Corpse from First Second Books.
Elena Arévalo Melville
Fellow Guatemalan-born, Arévalo Melville completed her first illustrated book El Libro de la Familia at age six. She has a MA in Children’s book illustration from Cambridge School of Art. She is fascinated by the book form’s enduring and inviting qualities; by the emerging process of voice from serious attention to personal interests; and by the capacity of great media (picture books, comics, animation and zines) to deliver any subject at all.
Mattotti is an Italian comics and graphic artist living in Paris. Mattotti’s English-language works include Fires and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (from NBM, which won an Eisner Award in 2003) , Murmur (Penguin Books), andChimera (Ignatz/Fantagraphics).
On May 9th at 5:30pm, there is an opening reception of HANSEL & GRETEL: An exhibit by Lorenzo Mattotti at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (496 Huron St.). The exhibit will run from May 9th through June 26th, open Mon – Fri: 10:00am. – 1:00pm.; 2:30pm. – 4:30pm.
For the first time at TCAF:
Lynda Barry, author of What It Is, The Freddie Stories and her newest bestseller, Syllabus.
Julie Doucet, author of My New York Diary, My Most Secret Desire, and 365 Days.
TCAF KIDS DAY 2015 | FREE
Saturday, May 9 | 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
St. Paul’s On Bloor, 227 Bloor St. East
Featuring some of the best and brightest kids-comic creators in the industry, TCAF Kids Day is a stand-alone event. It is a great place to view large-format presentations by favourite TCAF Guests, and take part in crafts, activities, and storytimes, and purchase books from various authors. Owlkids, Toronto Public Library, and Little Island Comics will be on hand all day to take part in the fun. Full listings for the day available here.
TCAF and The Hand Eye Society present Comics vs Games
With many developers coming in from out of town this is a great chance to meet them in person and play their games before release. The Comics vs Games showcase runs during regular exhibition hours, on Saturday and Sunday.
TATSUMI: Movie Screening and Tribute
Saturday, May 9 | 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Japan Foundation, 131 Bloor Street West, 2nd Floor
FREE event, open to the public. RSVP to guarantee seating.
In memory of the pioneering gekiga manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, (June 10, 1935 – March 7, 2015), TCAF and The Japan Foundation, Toronto present a special screening of Tatsumi, Eric Khoo’s 2011 animated film. Tatsumi, a tribute to the life and work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi, will be introduced by TCAF’s Christopher Butcher, and other local friends of the artist.
TCAF 2015 TCAFête
Saturday, May 9, 2015 | 9:00 pm – 11:59 pm
The Pilot, 22 Cumberland Ave.
$5 (free for TCAF guests, volunteers, & staff)
DJ setlist by Chest Hair Brown | 19+
For the first time ever, TCAF will expand to the third floor of Toronto Reference Library, to use the newly-completed Hinton Learning Theatre. A space accommodating more than 100 seated viewers, the theatre will play host to two full days of programming featuring D+Q’s line-up of authors, along with many special guests. There is plenty to see for comics and graphic novels fans of all ages. For full festival details visit torontocomics.com.